This week’s episode suggests that our girl Claire has built some sort of mental firewall within her brain that allows her to continue working to stop the Jacobite Rising without a care for its impact on history, while fighting anything that might jeopardize Frank’s existence.
Come on, Claire.
Duvernay bails Jamie and Murtagh out of the Bastille, but Alex Randall is still stuck, with the gendarmes thinking he raped Mary Hawkins. Mary writes a letter vouching for him, which she asks Claire to deliver, after telling her friend that at least now she can marry the man she loves.
Claire considers burning the letter and just letting Alex rot. What about Frank? Will he even exist if Mary marries the wrong brother? Instead, Claire secures his release, then sits him down and—while wearing a truly magnificent ensemble that looks like something I would have picked out for prom at the height of my Ren Faire years—asks him please not to subject her young friend to a penniless life drifting from European capital to European capital, searching for new employment. It’s about what’s best for Mary, you see.
Oh, Claire. Claire, Claire, Claire. Our heroine is currently working her butt off in cahoots with her husband to alter the course of history. There’s no way to predict the consequences of stopping the Jacobite Rising and the Battle of Culloden. For all she knows, that could knock out Frank, her best friend from school, her commanding officer in the war and her own great great grandparents. And yet, she’ll derail Mary Hawkins’ relationship with Alex Randall in the hopes that she marries the monstrous Black Jack Randall instead, thereby ensuring Frank’s existence. And she’ll ask Jamie for a rain check on his revenge so that Black Jack has just long enough to get Mary Hawkins pregnant.
It’s understandable Claire doesn’t want her first husband winking out of time, even if I’m not convinced the rules of the Outlander universe allow much rewriting of the past. But Claire’s mental gymnastics here are really remarkable.
She’s much better at selecting statement gowns, for instance this magnificent number she wore to Versailles.
If you’re going to get cornered by your husband’s ex and made to wander a garden morning sick while she tells you what he was like as an impetuous young man, you might as well make the best of the situation by wearing this hat.
And how satisfying was it to see Louis XV toying with Black Jack? Though he’ll probably have to run out and drown a puppy to feel better about himself afterward.
Lastly, before we go, let’s note the existence of another marvelous dressing gown.
Lead image via Starz. All other images via screencap.